Coroner refuses to answer questions on Kirra inquest delays
THE State Coroner has refused to explain significant delays behind the recently-announced inquest into the July 2014 death of 27-year-old Wolvi mum Kirra McLoughlin.
The coroner granted an inquest in May this year, nearly five years on from Kirra's death and one month following the debut of Beenham Valley Road, the true crime podcast made in her honour.
But the long-awaited inquest still hasn't started, and the Coroner's Court of Queensland would only confirm that it would proceed, but not when.
"The CCQ can confirm an inquest into the death of Ms Kirra-Lea McLoughlin will proceed," a CCQ spokeswoman said.
"Once all investigations are completed and a date determined, the family of Ms McLoughlin will be advised in the first instance. The listing will then appear on the CCQ website.
"As the coronial investigation ongoing, it is not appropriate to provide any further comment."
The CCQ did not answer questions about why it took 21 months to respond to pleas for an inquest from Kirra's mother Alison Russell and Sunshine Coast lawyer Peter Boyce.
The initial request was made in November 2015 but the coroner would not respond until August 3, 2017, when it said "competing work priorities" had rendered it unable to consider the material received in the case.
Questions about why it then took until August last year to begin obtaining an "expert report" on Ms McLoughlin's case and receive it by December, as well as how long the process of receiving, granting and beginning an inquest would usually take, were also ignored.
The CCQ spokeswoman said further queries about why those questions couldn't be answered would be addressed on Monday because the team involved in the matter was "unavailable".
Kirra's autopsy report revealed her body was covered in 105 "signs of recent injury", and medical records stated her cause of death was "hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy" - or brain damage due to a lack of oxygen and blood flow.
Police formally interviewed two people in connection with her death, but concluded their investigation in late 2015 without charging anyone.